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Stormwater Utility Fee


On April 25, 1995, the City of Portsmouth adopted a new Stormwater Management Utility (SMU) Ordinance, which specified a rate structure and billing mechanism.

The new rate structure is the same for all properties in the City. The rate is based on impervious (non-passable by water) area as a measure of each property's contribution to stormwater runoff. Impervious area is measured in Equivalent Residential Units (ERUs). The average impervious area for residential properties in the City of Portsmouth is represented by one ERU, which is calculated as 1,877 square feet (ft2). Note that impervious surfaces are those that prevent water from soaking into the soil such as rooftops, concrete or asphalt parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, etc.

  • $9.25 per month (or $27.75 per quarter) per ERU.
  • RESIDENTIAL properties are billed for only 1 ERU = $9.25 per month, or $27.75 per quarter, or $111.00 per year.
  • NON-RESIDENTIAL properties are billed for their actual amount of impervious cover, converted to ERU's. Example: The bill for a non-residential property with 10,000 ft2 of impervious cover would be calculated thus:
    • 10,000 ft2 divided by 1,877 ft2 per ERU = 5.3 ERUs
    • 5.3 ERUs x $9.25/ERU = $49.03 per month, $147.09 per quarter, or $588.36 per year.

Stormwater Utility Fee - Rate History

July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012
Residential or Non-Residential - $8.25/ERU per month or $24.75/ERU per quarter
(Note: All Residential property billed for only 1 ERU) July 1, 2012 – Present  
Residential or Non-Residential - $9.25/ERU per month or $27.75/ERU per quarter

(Note: All Residential property billed for only 1 ERU) ***All other preceding rates are available upon request***


Stormwater Utility Fee - What it PAYS for. . .

    • Stormwater operations including:
      • Ditch and Pipe Maintenance in City Right-of-Way
      • Construction of Flood Control and Water Quality Structures
      • Water Quality Monitoring and Testing
      • Lake and Pond Management
      • Illicit Discharge Investigation
      • Enforcement of City Code and Program Standards
      • Public Education
      • Ongoing Activities Associated with Regulatory Compliance


City of Portsmouth, Virginia · All Rights Reserved · Portsmouth City Hall · 801 Crawford Street · Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 757-393-8000